Thursday, 28 March 2013

Agbaso, Imo State Deputy Governor Impeached

Jude Agbaso
Mr, Jude Agbaso, former Deputy Governor of Imo State has been impeached today, Thursday, 28th March, 2013.

This was following an inquiry set up on March 23 to investigate the bribery allegations leveled against Agbaso over the sum of N458 million naira (four hundred and fifty eight million naira) given to him by J-Bros, a construction company.

26 members of the state House of Assembly voted in support of his impeachment and immediately screened and replaced him with the governor’s chief of staff, Prince Eze Madumere.
The Chairman of the Panel that was set up to investigate into the matter, Justice Godwin Ihekire, announced the rejection, on Thursday in Owerri, saying the request lacked merit: seizing to continue with the inquiry.

Agbaso, on his part claimed that he was not served any summons on the matter. He claimed that there had been plots to impeach him while pointing out that he had filed a law suit against his impeachment move, which was neglected.

“From the foregoing, it is clear that I am not only challenging the purported steps or actions leading to the constitution of your panel but also challenging the appointment/constitution of your panel by the Chief Judge of Imo State. Since we are in a constitutional democracy where the rule of law ought to be upheld, all activities and or proceedings of your panel ought to automatically terminate or be suspended as a mark of respect to the State High Court, before which the suits are pending,” Agbaso said.

Counsel to the Imo Assembly, Mr Niyi Akintola (SAN), argued that the panel was not party to any suit in any court in Nigeria regarding the deputy governor. He added that the letter by Agbaso was premature.
“The letter holds no water. It is not binding on you (panel). You are not party to any suit in any court and have no need to adjourn because of the letter but to proceed with the investigation,” he said.

He also said that Jude Agbaso could not claim to be ignorant of the panel when he had instituted two suits urging the court to stop his impeachment process.
Akintola explained that the panel was constituted by law and that Section 101 and 102 of the Constitution permits State Houses to regulate its proceedings and that ignorance was no excuse in law.

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